Peru’s world famous Inca Trail is open 11 months of the year, allowing trekkers to arrive to Machu Picchu on foot from March 1 – January 31. The Inca Trail is closed during the month of February due to weather and to allow for maintenance. But when is the best time to do the Inca Trail trek? Like most things in life, it depends. It depends on what you want most out of your trip — clear skies, warmer days and nights, smaller crowds, etc.
The first determining factor in choosing when to trek the Inca Trail is the weather. The rainy season occurs in this region from sometime in November until sometime in March, with the heaviest rains usually in January and February. The weather is warmer during this period, but also wetter, as intermittent downpours generally occur daily, usually in the afternoon, although they don’t usually last all day. Trekking at this time will be wet, and there will be fog shrouding the valleys and peaks. Sometimes landslides can block roads or train tracks, interfering with transportation and services during the rainiest periods.
The dry season runs from April to October or November, when the days are usually clear but the nights are cold (often really cold).
The Inca Trail and Machu Picchu are very popular, and thus can be full of tourists. The dry season is the busier time to visit the region, naturally, due to the dry weather and clearer skis.The very busiest time is during the northern summer travel season June – September. The Inti Raymi festival, the Inca festival of the sun, takes place June 24 and is extremely busy. The wet season, naturally, is less busy, as fewer tourists want to visit when they will get soaked with rain.
So when is the best time to trek the Inca Trail? If you want dry days and cold nights, go between April and October. If you don’t mind rain and want a less-crowded experience, go between November and March, keeping in mind that the Inca Trail is closed in February. We generally recommend April and May as a great time to visit as the days and nights are somewhat warm, the hillsides are green with grasses and flowers, and the number of tourists is still relatively low. October or early November can also be great times to visit to avoid the mid summer crowds. But, don’t let the season stop you from going. If you are able to go anytime the trail is open you will have an amazing trip and life-long memories. As Nike says, “Just do it!”
Looking for an Inca Trail Trek? Click here: Inca Trail Treks